Before I tell you the answer to this question, a story:
For about a week, my wireless access at home has been behaving very strangely. I normally browse the web via wireless when at home – it’s just way quicker: videos load faster, workflow is better, I don’t have to think about monthly 3G data caps…you know all the usual reasons.
Anyway, for as long as I can remember, my wireless connection has been fine. Then about a week ago, I got a new mobile phone, and could I connect to the web via my wireless route? Nope.
So I tried my old phone. Same problem.
Since then, I’ve tried everything. (Well, nearly everything 🙂 ).
I fiddled with the settings on my router. I repositioned the router’s aerial. I’ll spare you the rest of the details, as it’s all way too nerdy for this post (& we’ve both got better things to do with our lives after all).
And then, tonight, I got it working.
It was a simple solution: a newly-installed wireless TV repeater I’d set up around the house was having a fight with my wireless router. And the router was losing.
So how did I figure it all out, and why didn’t I give up?
Second answer first: I didn’t give up, because I’d seen it working before (this is the second-most important lesson of this blog post).
And finally, then, how did I figure it?
Simple: I tested everything. And that’s the same most overlooked thing that it’s so easy not to bother with in marketing.
Online marketing isn’t successful so much because of great design, buzz, traffic or brand. Though, all these things are required.
The bottom line is, are you testing what you are doing?
I know, it’s not glamorous. Tell me about it.
Staring at numbers, looking at traffic going from one part of your sales funnel to another…these, and more, aren’t exactly the sexist things to be focusing on in your marketing.
But if you do focus on getting this bit right, then you can move way ahead of the competition.
Remember, as Avinash Kaushik says (read "Web Analytics, an Hour a Day"), so aptly says to the PR/advertising execs:
"Your opinion doesn’t matter. What the data says does." (my paraphrase).
So there you go.
Always Be Closing?
Always Be Testing.
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